Sunday, 7 February 2010

Are you an efficient, kind, agreeable communicator, or an angry one?

You know what a good conversation is at a dinner party: lively dialogue, respectful participants, a variety of subjects, laughter, we don’t deny ignorance or mistakes and listen to the others’ opinions willingly to learn, or pretending to be in admiration. To sum it up, it’s talking with people. On the other hand, the communications of leaders (executives, parents, teachers etc) is talking at people, preaching to them rather then getting involved in a dialogue.

When people forget the interactive nature of communication the implications are disastrous. Directors, parents, teachers who force their listeners to listen, just because they have the capacity to, and “know what they want” will face the implications: health problems, failure, hostile attitudes, destroy relationships, undermines teamwork and trust. Here’s a mix of questions   to anyone in an authority position.

If your answer to the questions below is “yes”, then you’re a good communicator.
Are you able to resolve problems without losing control of your emotions?
Are you able to confront someone who hurt your feelings?
Do you frequently use courtesy words and phrases - "Please," "Thank you," "You’re welcome," "I'm sorry",
when conversing with the others?

Do you know how to help the others find solutions to their problems? Are you a listener?  
Do you show respect for people's ideas and feelings, even when you disagree with them?
Can you work with difficult people without becoming negative yourself?
Do you disagree agreeably to other people’s opinions and decisions?
Do you show respect for the other person's ideas? Do you offer an alternative solution?
If your answer to the questions below is “yes”, then you’re not an efficient communicator, and might have a problem with anger.
Do you usually make an effort to remember and use peoples' names?
Do you tend to postpone discussing touchy topics?
Do you avoid expressing your disagreement with people because they might get angry with you?
Do you hide your weaknesses?
Do you find it difficult to express your opinions when others don't share them? Do you leave room in the communication for speculation? Do you leave too much time between delivering messages? Do you assume that all employees/students/your kids know what is occurring in the workplace/at home/at school?
Are other people scared of your anger? Are you often angry? Do you frequently overreact?
Does your anger negatively affect the people you live or work with?
Do you hold grudges? 
“Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not easy.”  (Aristotle)